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Subject: Cultural Studies »

Hakan Akyol on Mulicultural Commission under Bracks

Hakan Akyol.

Hakan Akyol discusses the new working of the Victorian Multicultural Commission under Bracks, in the transition from Kennett



Date Added:

02 March 2009


source not available


mov (Quicktime);

File size:

9.9 MB






Overall, Victoria does quite well. In terms of – like – in terms of the commission sort of, data base and for instance there’s more than 3000 organisations that we have ranging from, you know, ethnic senior cits clubs to new emerging sort of communities having different associations by anything from village of origin to tribal background to location, a particular region of Italy to whatever. So there’s a whole range of association and they provide incredible support to the communities and my notion is that in terms of – first generation anywhere, whether it’s in Australia or anywhere else, there’s a human condition where – in terms of in confronting something different from their – where they’ve sort of, originated from, there’s a natural disposition to meet and stay or have contact with people who are of your own background or culture and understanding, simply just as a coping mechanism with the – something that’s different.


And that – some have sort of criticised that as, you know, people not wanting to integrate or going back to the term assimilate, but I see that as just a normal developmental process, that if you look at migrant communities over a period of decades or of generations, there is certainly much more integration, not integration in the sense of what the –the policy that replaced the white Australia assimilationist policy but just in physical – moving into the rest of the community, following generations having greater completion rates in – through education to through education becoming more affluent then buying properties in other suburbs etcetera rather than in initial sort of concentrations there. I see that as a normal developmental process of migration.


The – where we’ve I think done well is, in terms of supporting the migrant communities and associations, to the point where we’re actually supporting them to have their own schools, in time, to have their own organisations, to have their own festivals, we have done briefings for like, international sort of, tours, or delegations ranging from the European Union to the – from China to other parts of the world. And one of the questions that they often ask is: well don’t you think by supporting those things, by supporting ethnic schools, after hours schools, by supporting those separate festivals and so forth, you’re actually supporting separation, or ghettos being consolidated?


Our view is that it’s actually that might seem on the – on a superficial analysis but if you look deeper, what you’re actually showing is a sense of the respect and a sense of acceptance and a sense of support and that through that process, a sense that they are accepted and that they are appreciated and so their commitment to the nation of the society and the community as a whole, is actually strengthened by that show of support.


Now obviously there’ll be always be in any case within the system, some elements where it doesn’t work out that way. But overall I think, rather – what multicultural policy is essentially saying is that notion of respect and acceptance.


End transcript